Canada 36, 3rd September 2006

Some people got my last email twice - sorry about that - and some people were lucky to get it at all. If you call it lucky. I had problems!

I had a walk around my parking spot from last night. I was in rain forest. I seem to be shifting from rain forest to drought areas then back.

I'm told that truck drivers have to work long hours to make a living. This guy crashed out with his engine still running. I sometimes fall asleep with my computer switched on but I don't think that's so serious. Of course, he had pulled off the road, he wasn't going to hit anyone while sleeping there.

In the UK drivers are limited to 9 hours driving per day. Here the limit is 16 hours. There used to be no limit in Canada, drivers would sometimes go on for 40 or 50 hours.

I went to the railway museum in Revelstoke. How about this beastie?

The introduction of the rotary snow plough made railway life much simpler.

There was a mountain, so I drove up it. This is the view from part way up. The smoke from the left is from a forest fire, it's been burning 2 weeks now.

This is a view from the top.

By the time I got back down - the drive to the top is 26 km, and, naturally, another 26 km back down - the dam tours had stopped so I looked at the Forestry museum. It was only $2.50 entrance but I don't think I have ever seen so few items on display in a museum. I was actually playing with the word paucity but wasn't sure of the spelling................Or the meaning...............

I drove around a little and noticed a lot of RV's parked in a special area near a golf club. They were obviously there for a while, they had awnings down, and tables out, and I nearly joined them. But I finished up just round the corner, next to the river, on a bit of waste ground.

I visited the Revelstoke Dam in the morning. Took a guided tour. Now normally one would think that taking a guided tour of a dam would be about as interesting as taking a guided tour of a traffic intersection. But no! It was a superb presentation, all sorts of facts and information. The tour, and the related exhibits and displays, kept me enthralled for about 3 hours.

The check engine light and associated poor running had been appearing intermittently for the last day or so. It finally came on and stayed on. I took it to an auto repair shop and the light went out and stayed out. The mechanic couldn't find the plug to connect his computer diagnostic. Finally it turned out it was the orange plug he had decided was for the brakes, he was looking for a grey one. Ha!

The computer checked out OK. Not surprising since the warning light was not on. He strapped up a couple of loose cables and I drove around for 30 minutes to see if I could get the light to come on. It stayed stubbornly out.

The service manager didn't charge me. He said they hadn't done anything they could charge me for. Remember, Jacobsen Ford in Revelstoke, an honest garage.

Actually I think they might have unknowingly fixed the problem. I suspect one of those loose cables was occasionally shorting out against the steering mechanism, I haven't had any problem since I left the garage.

It's still pretty.

I took a couple of short trails on boardwalks, found a gravel road climbing up the side of a mountain and followed it. There was a clearing near the start but that was too near the highway and the railroad. Note that I have now taken to talking American, it comes from too much exposure, and talking to the auto repair shop (garage) about the hood (bonnet) and idling (tick-over). Fortunate indeed that the fenders (bumpers) were OK and that there is no trunk (boot) on this vehicle.

Anyway after a short climb there was an entrance to a sort of quarry, where they had been sourcing road materials. Perfect!

During the night I heard animal noises, scraping the bodywork. I looked out, and saw nothing. I put my outside light on, and saw a vole scurrying away. Now I know it was not a vole making those noises. I went back to bed.

Voles are about the most common animal around here but you wouldn't thinks so, you just about never ever get to see them. Because they hide, all the time. Well, wouldn't you? Just about every bird or animal living around here eats voles, either as a snack, or a major part of their diet.

I couldn't decide which of the next two photos I Iiked the best so you've got them both.

I guess I took this while driving.

Oops. Same photo. Well it's worth looking at a second time.

Next is a new photo.

And an amazing waterfall. 245 metres high. It's the runoff from a glacier just 350 metres away.

By the time I got back from the waterfall the campground was nearly full. It's national park, you are not allowed to stop anywhere except a campground. I found a space, for $16, then someone came along, he had already paid for this site. So I went to the overflow parking, a ranger said that was $8. That's OK with me. I don't want a picnic table, stuff like that. Then no one called to collect the $8. This ranger, and the next one who came, they just drove straight by. By now there were half a dozen camper vans in the car park, and a similar number of tent campers in the picnic area. Of course it is about the busiest weekend of the year, labour day weekend.

Whatever it is, labour.

Best regards

David Barker
On the road in Canada

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